KEYS backstory

KEYS combines the creative forces of keyboardist Mark Mangold (Touch, Drive She Said, Michael Bolton, Cher, Paul Rodgers) and singer Jake E (Cyhra, Amaranthe).

Jake and Mark met when Cyhra needed a place to stay and record in 2019…which turned out to be in Mark’s New York studio. 

The duo collaborated on a track for the Cyhra album and decided to record the KEYS album when Mangold presented a series of songs to Jake. 

The band recorded the album during the pandemic and finished it up during early 2021.

Featuring live performances with three keyboardists and a mind-bending array of melodies, this retro-fuelled project fuses 80s flamboyance with the latest tech.

There’s a focus on prog, AOR and groove laden classic rock…plus everything in between.

And the debut KEYS album features guest keyboards courtesy of Charlie Calv (Angel) and support from Don Airey (Deep Purple), Adam Wakeman and drummer Alex Landenburg (Kamelot).

In Mark Mangold’s own words

“Part of my inspiration for KEYS was thinking of what keyboards could do to scathe…in the way that a lot of guitar bands do with their blistering solos. 

“I enjoy exploring those lines and barrages. 

“Visually, I was haunted by a vision of a group of keyboard players: three maniacs and stacks of keyboards on stage attacking these songs.

“And, of course, a versatile scathing voice…enter Jake E.”

The verdict on RIP

Prepare for an unrelenting barrage of keys from one of melodic rock’s masters of the craft.

Mark Mangold doesn’t hold back on the multi-layered RIP as angular beats and ripe riffs lay the foundation for Jake E’s vibrant vocals.

There’s a reassuring pace to this tune that never slackens.

From start to finish it’s a full throttle showcase for Mangold’s dizzying dexterity as the Miami-born tinkler lets RIP.

Think the musical equivalent of a caffeine double shot.

Or an AOR-polished prog rock adrenaline boost with bells on.

Fans of Yngwie Malmsteen’s Odyssey will surely relate to KEYS’ flamboyant lead single.

And Jake E’s Joe Lynn Turner-esque pipes are the perfect foil for Mangold’s flamboyant melodic sweeps.

Have KEYS unlocked the future of melodic rock? Watch this space.

What’s next for KEYS

The band’s self-titled album is out now.

Mangold is hoping to start work on the follow-up soon.